The Company that WON’T pick you up:
Tourist is stranded almost 3 hours in a mountain snowfall while
Hertz Rental Car Company does nothing
Complaints were filed with the FTC, the BBB, and the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office to investigate Hertz Rental Car due to their negligence and breach of contract so egregious it puts the public in danger.
On Sunday December 14th Pelshaw and his group of five friends were returning from a ski trip in Keystone Colorado when the 2009 Chrysler Aspen SUV they rented developed transmission problems and stalled on Interstate 70 in the mountains near Idaho Springs CO during a mountain snow fall and Arctic temperatures. “I called Roadside Assistance to tell them I was broken down and that we need replacement transportation or picked up. The representative spent all of his time trying to confirm the condition of the car, even after being told him that ‘the transmission is not working in any gear and there is a puddle of transmission fluid on the ground.’ ” The representative’s only response was to say to call a taxi, or go to shelter, even after being informed that the travelers were not in a town, didn’t know where to call for a taxi or go for shelter, and that it was snowing and the temperature was 6’ F. The Hertz Representative then said they would call back. During subsequent calls Hertz was repeatedly asked “What is your plan to rescue us? We are in the elements in the boonies, we could be in serious danger unless you honor your contract and come and pick us up.” In the course of 2.5 hours after numerous conversations with various people at Hertz “24 Hour Roadside Assistance” never dispatched a replacement vehicle or a ride to pick up the stranded tourists. Thankfully a Good Samaritan came that took them to the McDonald’s in Idaho Springs.
During the first 2.5 hours of the ordeal Hertz Roadside Assistance never offered anything more than for the travelers to call a taxi at their expense, even after being repeatedly informed that being in Idaho Springs and being from out of town the travelers did not know where to find a taxi; even after the Hertz representative was asked since they were in an office and had access to the internet and a phone book, why couldn’t they honor their rental agreement and at least call replacement transportation? It was only after more than 2.5 hours did Hertz offer to send a taxi at their expense. Sensing that Hertz 24 Hour Roadside Assistance was an oxymoron the stranded travelers were able to find a shuttle service to which they paid $350 to transport them to the airport. Needless to say they missed the scheduled time of their flight. Do you think Hertz is picking up those costs? Absolutely not, despite numerous requests. Allen from Hertz DIA (303.342.3800) then called, over 2.5 hours after first calling Hertz, to let them know that Hertz could hire a taxi service for pick up at no charge, despite previously stating that the travelers would have to pay the cost. Allen was then asked “when was the taxi dispatched?’ The only answer was to say that the car could be there in an hour. Allen was then asked “Why did you wait over 2.5 hours to order a car for us? I since contacted my own rental service, will you reimburse for that?” The representative from Hertz continually refused to reimburse this expense, despite pleas for help.
What is so frightening and angering about how Hertz handled this situation is their lack of prudent action proves they dangerously have no regard for the safety of the public. What if the break down was at night, outside in a snowstorm and 6’ weather? What if there was no Good Samaritan to rescue them from the side of the interstate? What if the traveler didn’t have the resources to hire their own transport?
Clearly this is a case of Breach of Contract, Misrepresentation that they have an emergency roadside service, and Negligence so egregious that action must be taken by the State to protect its citizens and to help protect the tourist economy that is so vital in Colorado.